Keeping Hawai‘i Healthy

As Hawai‘i begins to loosen Covid regulations, hear from our local healthcare leaders on the key issues affecting our state in the coming year.

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Diane Paloma
Dr. Diane S.L. Paloma, President & CEO
Hawaii Dental Service


Q: How is Hawaii Dental Service (HDS) boosting their members’ wellness and overall health this year?

As Hawaii’s oral health leader, HDS has been at the forefront of oral health education and increasing access to dental care for insured and uninsured local families, whether it’s through our dental plans or community initiatives.

This year we are ramping up efforts to improve health outcomes and motivate our members through SMILEWell, our oral health wellness program, guiding employers by setting oral health goals and focusing on incentivized, educational initiatives. Believe it or not, many adults still fear the dentist and we make it our mission to reduce barriers, so our members get the care they need.

For underinsured and uninsured families, the HDS Foundation funds and develops community programs that educate and treat individuals in need of discounted or free dental services. Our HDS Foundation team works with various agencies to promote our initiatives focused on educating parents to take their children to the dentist by their first birthday, to participate in our school-based sealant program for children, and dental hygiene training for caregivers. HDS also recently established an oral health endowment at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine to integrate oral health into the school’s core curriculum. Our hope is to elevate oral health to a new level of importance for the next generation of physicians serving our island communities.

How does good oral health play a role in the success of a business or organization?

Healthy and happy employees are the foundation to a successful business. Studies show healthier employees display higher levels of morale, productivity, and have lower healthcare costs. Poor oral health conditions such as toothaches, gum disease, and tooth loss can affect an employee’s productivity, attendance, and confidence due to extreme pain and discomfort, in addition to affecting one’s overall health. This is why we often stress the importance of preventive care and constantly challenge ourselves to make oral health engaging and fun – so Hawaii families can Live Well, Smile More.

Hawaii Dental Service
900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1900
Honolulu, HI 96813-3705
(808) 529-9248 |



Matthew Koenigmd 5x7Matthew Koenig, MD, Virtual Care Medical Director
Queen’s Health Systems


Q: What is Virtual Care and how does Queen’s use technology to deliver care to patients?

True to our mission, The Queen’s Health System proudly cares for the people of Hawai‘i and continues to be innovative to ensure patients have access to high-quality, affordable care. Virtual care includes a variety of patient care services that use technology to connect patients or referring physicians with an expert provider at Queen’s. Although scheduled video visits are the most common, Queen’s also offers on-demand video visits, text-based eVisits, provider-to-provider eConsults, and remote patient monitoring in the patient’s home. Our goal is to provide convenient and timely access to expert care and improve a patient’s engagement in their own health and well-being.

How do I know if Virtual Care is right for my specific health care needs, or if I need an in-person visit?

Queen’s is dedicated to ensuring that patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

We offer on-demand video visits through Queen’s new Virtual Urgent Care program, which is available on the Queen’s website or through Queen’s MyChart app. This program guides patients through which symptoms are appropriate to be seen immediately by a provider through virtual care. Patients can also call their primary care physician or Queen’s Patient Support Center (808-691-8200) to ask whether virtual care is appropriate for their next clinic visit. Some appointments do require a hands-on physical examination, lab work, vital signs, or other procedures that are not available through virtual care, so it is important to ask your doctor if virtual care is right for you.

How can Queen’s health care providers accurately diagnose and treat medical conditions through Virtual Care?

Many medical conditions can be followed using tools like video visits, connected devices like glucose monitors and blood pressure cuffs, and text-based interactions with the physician or care team. These virtual care tools should be considered complementary to in-person care since they can often provide more timely interventions to keep patients healthy and address problems before they become more serious. Common conditions like hypertension, diabetes, weight gain, epilepsy, allergies, and asthma can be treated over time with virtual care in a way that is safe and convenient for patients. It’s all part of Queen’s commitment to meet the needs of our communities and become lifetime partners in health with the people we serve.

The Queen’s Health Systems
1301 Punchbowl St.
Honolulu, HI 96813 



Categories: Health & Wellness, Partner Content